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Bus route thought to be under threat will continue

PUBLISHED: 05:14 18 May 2019

The 112 bus service, which is run by Suffolk Norse, looked like it was going to be terminated in the summer of 2019. However Suffolk County Council has announced it will carry on as usual after correcting an 'administrative oversight' Picture: DJH PHOTOGRAPHY

The 112 bus service, which is run by Suffolk Norse, looked like it was going to be terminated in the summer of 2019. However Suffolk County Council has announced it will carry on as usual after correcting an 'administrative oversight' Picture: DJH PHOTOGRAPHY

DJH PHOTOGRAPHY

A vital bus service linking Hadleigh, Sudbury and many Suffolk villages which looked under threat of closure will continue, it has been revealed.

Cllr Robert Lindsay took the issue of the bus service to Suffolk County Council and Mary Evans Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNCllr Robert Lindsay took the issue of the bus service to Suffolk County Council and Mary Evans Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Suffolk Norse's 112 bus between Sudbury and Hadleigh runs twice a week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

While other buses connect the two towns, no other bus links Sudbury and Hadleigh to villages like Bildeston, Kersey, Chelsworth, Monks Eleigh and Great Waldingfield.

Posters spotted in bus stations with Suffolk Norse's logo were shared on social media stating that the service was due to terminate in June this year.

However, Suffolk County Council says the service is safe, putting fears of its demise down to an "administrative oversight".

Conservative cabinet member for highways Mary Evans said changes to locality highways budgets would provide more flexibility. Picture: GREGG BROWNConservative cabinet member for highways Mary Evans said changes to locality highways budgets would provide more flexibility. Picture: GREGG BROWN

The alarm was first raised by county councillor for Cosford, Robert Lindsay.

He said: "I was told by a resident that bus drivers were warning people the service was coming to an end.

"I had people sending me emails with staff at the council and bus companies confirming that it would be renewed, putting it down to 'financial constraints'.

"I don't know at what point that became an 'administrative oversight'."

Rural bus services such as the 112 are subsidised by Suffolk County Council to make sure isolated communities have public transport.

Mr Lindsay added: "I'm pretty sure this bus service would not have been saved had I not made a fuss about it.

"The majority of the people using this bus have free bus passes or have no other way of getting about.

"It travels to Sudbury on market day - it's needed."

A Suffolk County Council spokesman confirmed that there were no other bus services due to be terminated this year.

Mary Evans, cabinet member for transport, highways and rural issues at the council, said: "I am pleased to announce that we will be maintaining the contract for the 112 service from Hadleigh to Sudbury.

"Due to an administrative oversight, we failed to respond to the operators before they gave notice on the service.

"Our passenger transport manager has been in contact with the operators today and the service will continue to run as normal."

"We apologise to the community for the upset that this has caused."

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